Since my trip to Japan (See part one, two, three, four, five)I have really upped my game when it comes to Japanese cooking at home. I used to think it was not possible to cook a lot of Japanese food because I either could not get the ingredients or did not have access to the right cooking equipment. But that is not true and now I really enjoy cooking several things and want to learn how to cook even more!
One thing that helped enormously was finding the Japan Centre (www.japancentre.com). I’ve now both been to the shop and ordered online and it’s fantastic. I try hard to get the Japanese versions of things, rather than English or America versions as I want to be authentic. Plus the do fun fresh food such as this Hello Kitty bun!
There are two main dishes I feel really good about making and also switching things up with them easily (without a recipe) and they are ramen and okonomiyaki! From the Japan Centre I’ve bought a stock of all the basic ingredients, such as the ramen noodles with stock, the okonomiyaki flour and sauce, mayo, tempura flakes, seaweed, pickled ginger and a few other things that have made it so easy to cook great food.
This is an example of the miso chicken ramen I’ve made. I’ve also made a version with salt stock and soya stock. All are slightly different and worth experimenting with. I’ve also mixed things up using chicken, fish, pork and chorizo. I feel good about whipping a ramen up that I could use up things I have in the fridge and create something yummy.
This is an example of the okonomiyaki I’ve been cooking and it is amazing! I’ve used bacon lardons, porks fillet strips, chorizo and smoked salmon. All of which have been amazing even if not fully authentic, but making it yum was my priority as well as not wasting food.
I have also tried to make noodle soup and yaki soba, but these haven’t turned out quite as I would like so I need a bit more practice.
I am on the search for a Japanese cookbook as I would like to learn how to make other things. I’m not sure which one to get yet though and will continue to look, but if anyone has any recommendations let me know!